If you have knee trouble, you might want to go up the shorter and steeper Old Baldy and come down the longer and more gradual Super Trail. The Old Baldy trail is much shorter at 5.4 miles but is a steady climb of 4000 feet to the summit of Mount Wrightson. Turn right at White House Canyon Road. That trail is not as steep but it is longer than the Old Baldy Trail. Though the top's panoramic views extending to Tucson in the north and Mexico in the south are the primary reward, the entire hike is chock full of scenic viewpoints -- each of which you will definitely use as an excuse to take a breather on this high altitude climb with over 4,000 feet of elevation gain. Note that at the time of writing, there is a proposal to increase daily fees to $8 and annual pass prices to $40 that may be implemented sometime in 2019. Dogs are permitted on leash. In any season, bring ample water and snacks to fuel this grueling journey to the top and wear sun protection, especially above treeline where shade is minimal and sunburn risk is higher due to the altitude. The Forest Service also honors all Interagency Annual Passes. Although it may not look like it, the mountain towers 4,000 feet above where you stand. Wrightson… The incline is very mild here but you will start to notice a steeper incline once you hit the Old Baldy Trail. . Finish up those switch backs and then you are so close to the finish line, you just need to head up a handful of more switchbacks. . . It is a nice challenge but it’s great to be able to hike up in the mountains with lots of shade throughout the journey. From the parking lot, Mount Wrightson and its jagged rocks prominently rise above the forest in front of you. Note: Hike statistics were recorded with Gaia GPSapp. There is a 0.8 mile spur trail that will take you to Old Baldy summit. The total path is approximately 9 miles roundtrip and 4,000 feet of elevation gain. . It is kept in good condition but at times it can be very rocky and Forcing you to step up and down large rocky steps or tree trunks. . Wrightson’s distinctive pyramid-shaped profile is visible from much of southeastern Arizona and adjoining areas in Mexico. I will say that it was easier to appreciate the views on the way back down. From this point, it's 1.8 miles to Baldy Saddle via Old Baldy Trail, and 3.3 miles via the Super Trail. (Notice all the crazy lady bugs in the photo!). Initially, I did not think we would move past the saddle but we ended up deciding to try to push forward and I am extremely thankful that we did. Rocky Mount Wrightson looms above the treeline, A sign memorializing the deaths of three young Boy Scouts during a freak snowstorm, Openings in the trees provide beautiful views, Near treeline, you can start to see civilization along Interstate 19, The view southeast from the summit of Mount Wrightson, Looking north from the summit towards Tucson and Mt. Although it’s a little rocky at times, it’s very shaded and there are some nice views that start to emerge. It’s the tallest peak in the Tucson area and a very rewarding hike with an incline grade that I believe is very manageable. Wide views on Mount Wrightson (noted as "Baldy 2" on topo) reveal mountain ranges few know exist. The Old Baldy and Super Trail meet in the saddle and share the footpath for the next 0.2 mile. Its a bit longer by about a mile but starts the hike with a gentler phase. I had been dealing with rehabbing my neck and was having some issues with it locking up on me. The rest of the descent down Old Baldy Trail was a bit mind-numbing but at least it’s all downhill so didn’t seem to take long. An easier version of this hike would be to take the Super Trail to Josephine Saddle. Mountain bikers are allowed on portions of Baldy Trails but the open dunes and short segments make this system best suited for hikers and trail runners. Looking out over the F. L. Whipple Observatory and Tubac/I-19. No matter which lot you park in, walk to the north end of angled spaces on the eastern side of the picnic area to find the Old Baldy Trailhead -- the Super Trailhead begins on the south end of the lot near the restrooms. This trail goes by Josephine Saddle, Bellows Spring, Old Baldy, Baldy Saddle, and Baldy Spring. I don’t know if this is a year-round spring that flows but it had a slight but steady flow in early May when we hiked. Many people use the Super Trail as a way to come back down and appreciate the views a bit more but from what I have seen, it is less maintained and better to do with pants which we did not have. As soon as, Nothing like hiking through a forest of Christmas, One more look at the magnificent color change in M, Aspen groves on Mt Lemmon. The views really start to get good about 3 miles into the hike when it opens up to some of the jagged mountain sides towering above you. Wrightson to the right I have been doing a … It is recommended to filter this water if you choose to drink it and honestly this was a perfect opportunity for me to use my Lifestraw for the first time. . Wrightson. Coronado National Forest Weekly ($10) and Annual Passes ($20) are available for purchase at the Santa Rita Lodge, which you'll pass in Madera Canyon on the drive to the trailhead, or at any district office (found in various places in southeastern Arizona). 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